Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria — most of them harmless. Normally the body’s natural defences and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing with regular visits to the dentist, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper care, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. What conditions may be linked to oral health? Our oral health may affect or contribute to various problems: Endocarditis – Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart. Cardiovascular disease (Heart Attack) – Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause. Pregnancy and birth – Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Diabetes – Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels. Osteoporosis – which causes bones to become weak and brittle, might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. At TLC we care about your overall health as much as your teeth.